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Jan. 27, 2022 | Thursday
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St. Andrews Glen couple proudly display anti-hate sign
George Webber and Audrey Pellett have been giving away "Hate has no home here signs" in the hopes of reinforcing ideas of acceptance and love in Niagara-on-the-Lake. (Evan Saunders)

This story has been edited to update newly recieved information.

A St. Andrews Glen couple have been displaying and giving away anti-hate signs in their neighbourhood, saying there is never a wrong time to affirm that you stand against hateful ideologies.

“We just felt it was a statement that needed to be said. When you live in a neighbourhood as diverse as St. Andrews Glen, it’s the right sign to put up,” said Audrey Pellett.

The signs say “Hate has no home here” and feature images from various faiths and cultures.

Pellett and her partner George Webber ordered the signs from Ask Guy Design in Sarnia in July.

She said that no specific event prompted the purchase but rather she was motivated by overarching narratives around division locally and abroad.

“With everything that’s been going on lately I just find that there is so much hate these days,” she said.

“We all need to take a step back and say, ‘No' ”

She cited the overwhelming negativity on social media sites such as Facebook as a motivating factor in making a public statement that decried intolerance.

“Hate begets hate,” Pellett said, hoping her sign would accomplish the opposite.

A Virgil man's lawn sign stating “Proud of our traditional marriage” sparked controversy in Niagara-on-the-Lake over the last few weeks, garnering wide attention on social media with some decrying the sign as homophobic and others defending it as an example of free expresssion.

Webber said there is no need to pussyfoot around when condemning hate.

“You’ve got to tell people what you stand for,” he said.

“Everybody can assume but we are telling people that this is what we stand for. This is us. If you like it or you don’t like it, this is us.”

The signs were originally commissioned by Oakville resident Nandhini Rangan. She had them designed by Wry and Ginger studios who volunteered their time to make them. The signs have been a staple in Oakville ever since.

The NOTL couple said people have been coming up to the house to ask where they can get a sign of their own. Luckily, Pellett ordered extras.

“I’ve given them to people I don’t know, I’ve given them to people I know,” Pellett said.

“If someone says they like what it stands for we say, ‘Here, take a sign,” Webber added.

Pellett said she has one sign left and would be open to helping anyone order more if they want to pick up a few. She said that Ask Guy delivered signs.

“If like-minded people would like to stand with us, then they can take a sign and put it up,” said Webber.

The couple are aware they could be infringing on the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s bylaw prohibiting lawn signs.

“Until somebody says take it down, we’ll just leave it up,” Webber said.

Pellett hopes it is only a matter of time before she sees more public condemnations of hate.

“Citizens in St. Andrews Glen have taken to it,” she said.